UN Human Rights Chief Zeid Ra-ad al-Hussein said today in a news conference that Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump would be "dangerous from an international point of view" should he be elected. Speaking on a range of issues such as the continued fighting in Yemen, Syria, and Sub-Saharan Africa where Muslim jihadis wage war against each other and persecute Christians, Zeid said Trump’s remarks are "deeply unsettling and disturbing to me," especially about the use of torture and about "vulnerable communities." Zeid is a member of the royal family of Jordan.
"If Donald Trump is elected, on the basis of what he has said already and unless that changes, I think it's without any doubt that he would be dangerous from an international point of view," Zeid said in Geneva. Zeid’s critics contend that he has stepped beyond his role as High Commissioner for Human Rights because of his comments on Trump and “demagogues” in Europe. Yesterday, Vitaly Churkin, Russia's ambassador to the United Nations, said Zeid should refrain from criticizing foreign heads of state and government "for their policies. This is not his business. He should be more focused on his specific responsibilities."
Zeid alluded to reports that Ambassador Churkin formally complained in September directly to UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon about Zeid's comments, and said, "I was not there, of course, and there was no demarche (formal report) made to me."
Zeid acknowledged UN rules that to avoid intervening in issues that are the "domestic jurisdiction of states." He alluded to similar complaints about interference once made by South Africa during the apartheid years that the UN General Assembly dismissed "time and again."
"Clearly I am not keen or intent on interfering in any political campaign within any particular country," Zeid said about the coming presidential election. However, he feels that he should speak out against Trump, who he said offers the "potential" for an increase in "the use of torture."
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